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pH Measurement SOP

1.0 Purpose 4.0 Measurement

Accurate pH determinations require several important maintenance, 4.1 Liquid Samples
calibration, and measurement processes. Improper calibration, storage, • Rinse the electrode with pure water.
or cleaning of the pH electrode can cause inaccurate readings, which • Immerse the tip in the sample and stir gently, or use a
can impact quality and safety. magnetic stirrer.
• Wait until the reading is stable, or when the digits do not change
The purpose of this standard operating procedure (SOP) is to for at least 5 seconds before recording the measurement.
establish all the necessary steps to use, store, and care for a pH • Rinse the electrode with pure water until all residues
electrode. Specific attention is given to address the differences in are removed.
measuring solid and liquid samples. • Repeat this procedure for additional samples.

NOTE: For solid or semi-solid samples, it is possible to create a

2.0 Materials
slurry of deionized water and solid sample and perform measure-
• pH meter with electrode
ments as above. Follow approved methods.
• Pure water (e.g. deionized (DI), reverse osmosis (RO), distilled)
• pH calibration buffers (e.g. pH 4.01, 7.01, 10.01)
• pH electrode cleaning solution 4.2 Solid Samples

• pH electrode storage solution • Rinse the electrode with pure water.

• Beakers • Use a knife or auger to make a hole for the pH electrode. Some

• Magnetic stir plate and stir bars (optional) pH electrodes have an integrated blade. In these cases, simply
insert the probe into the sample.
• Insert the tip of the probe into the hole. Ensure electrode
3.0 Setup (Before You Measure)
junction coverage by placing the electrode at least 2 cm
3.1 Electrode Preparation
(0.75”) into the sample.
• Remove protective cap from the electrode.
• Inspect the electrode for any scratches or cracks. If present,
5.0 Maintenance (After You Measure)
replace the electrode.
• Shake the electrode down to remove any air bubbles inside the 5.1 Electrode Cleaning

glass bulb. • Fill a 100 mL beaker with approximately 75 mL cleaning solution.

• Ensure that the electrode was cleaned and stored properly • Place the pH electrode into the cleaning solution for at least
(see 5.0 Maintenance). 15 minutes, making sure the junction is covered.
• Rinse electrode with pure water to remove any salt deposits. • If a refillable electrode is visibly contaminated, drain the
reference electrolyte chamber with a syringe or capillary
pipette and refill with fresh electrolyte. Allow the electrode
3.2 Calibration
to stand upright for one hour.
• Fill a beaker with enough pH calibration buffer to cover the
• Place in storage solution for at least 1 hour and re-calibrate
electrode junction (about 75 mL in a 100 mL beaker).
before next use.
• Place the electrode in the beaker containing pH calibration
buffer and gently stir.
• Confirm the calibration point when the reading is stable, or when 5.2 Electrode Storage

the digits do not change for at least 5 seconds. • Replace the storage solution in the protective cap or beaker.
pH Measurement SOP 1.0 7/2017 PRINTED IN USA

• Repeat for additional calibration points. Be sure to rinse with • Submerge the glass bulb and junction in protective cap or
pure water between calibration points. At least two calibration beaker with solution.

points are recommended. • A dry electrode should soak in storage solution for at least
one hour prior to use and should be re-calibrated. However,
NOTE: In general, pH 4 and 7 buffers can last 4-8 weeks after overnight is optimal.
opening, and an alkaline pH buffer (i.e. pH 10) will last 1-2 weeks
after opening.

Clean Regularly | Calibrate Often | Condition Always

pH Measurement SOP | 877-MY-HANNA |